Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kitty Has An Ally

Giving medicine to cats have always meant an all out battle of wills. Kitty knows what you are trying to force down its throat and the claws are out, curved and pointy sharp. If I could avoid the trauma, I would.

But Jazzy, my six month tabby who only weighs six pounds, just got spayed. Had to, she was in heat and with two males - her brother and an older neutered male - was after her and all she could do was writh and squirm around the floor in obvious need and a real temptation to the boys.

Jazzy was back from the vet's office who gave me two vials of medicine to give her. One to be taken twice a day and the other once a day. I got a towel and wrapped it around her body to hold her close and protect myself from those nails of hers, pried her mouth open and - she squirmed backwards and slipped out of my arms. I took after her leaving the open bottle of medicine on the table.

Finally caught her and came back only to find Smokey, my male Tonkinese, had knocked over the bottle. A pool of pink liquid spread under it, about a dose full. Guess he felt he was helping poor Jazzy.

Amazingly, however, the next time the dosage was due, Jazzy seemed calm in my lap. So instead of wrapping her up and terrifying her again, I filled the plunger, stuck it in her mouth and let the liquid go in. I could hardly believe it. She took it without a fight, and for the most part she has been calm and agreeable ever since.

I've had other cats that I literally had to sit on to force feed medicine. The worst is when it's in pill form. That never seems to work.

But liquid? Something else. It was as if she trusted me. Nothing to it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Neighborhood Library is Alive

Last Saturday Linda Stevens of the Harris County Public Library spoke to the Southwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America in Houston at our monthly luncheon.

I was amazed at the changes going on. I meakly admit I haven't visited my local library in a while so I was delighted to find that the libraries have been updated. By that I mean they are no longer the "no talking" quiet room that we expected in the past. Although they do provide a quiet room if you wish.

The new library has several computers which are free for card holding members. They welcome writers groups, talks from writers, even signings. They welcome children and have a children's hour during which someone reads aloud to them. They also hold classes, such as the free computer classes in my neighborhood branch.

To cut down on expenses, several close on Saturdays or Sundays or shortened their hours. I'm glad to report that my library, the Everett D. Collier Branch on Pinemont near Bingle in the Northwest is open on the weekends.

Another addition is Overdrive where you can rent e-books and load them on your computer. When the rental period is up, the e-book magically disappears. I'm happy to say that even my books are available to read on Overdrive, thanks to L&L Dreamspell, my wonderful publisher of the Niki Alexander series, Less Dead and Lost Witness.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In the white irises in the Hargrove Family Cemetery in DeWitt County, Texas, a black professor from San Antonio is murdered as he tries to dig up hidden treasure.

Caroline Hargrove Hamilton, a former journalist and recent widow from Houston, is finding new meaning to her life by returning to her roots in DeWitt County to chronicle her family's history dating back to the Civil War. Getting re-acquainted with her cousin Janet as her guide, they become amateur detectives after they stumble upon the body of Professor Harrison next to an old grave dating back to 1875, where a second body is suspected to have been buried with the original deceased. Only by digging up the past and solving an old murder can Caroline and Janet find the answer to who killed the professor. By doing so they unearth a treasure of secrets that no one could have foretold, bringing unexpected revelations about their ancestors to an exciting climax that pits Caroline with the murderer.

Well written in a leisurely and detailed style, Connie Knight uses her skill as a journalist and magazine editor to introduce us to a diverse and delightful cast of characters that could only come from the South Texas Plains. We meet Caroline's extended family as well as learning about her ancestors as she researches the past with the meticulous gathering of papers, letters and interviews. We also meet Constable Bob Bennett who is not only investigating the case but is sparking the flames of love that Caroline once thought had died with her husband. Cemetery Whites is a thoroughly enjoyable excursion into the heart of Texas and the rugged, hardy people who made it great.